Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Open Culture - 30 Renowned Writers Speaking About God & Reason

This is very cool - and of course it comes from Open Culture, the curators of cool on the web. Some of the writers featured include Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Iain Banks, Roddy Doyle, and no collection would be complete without Christopher Hitchens.

Enjoy - this is frequently fascinating.

As an added bonus, in the summary below, there are links to a two part video of 100 academics, mostly scientists, talking about their perspectives on God and reason.

30 Renowned Writers Speaking About God & Reason

January 30th, 2012

This past summer, Jonathan Pararajasingham, a neurosurgeon in London, created a montage of 100 renowned academics, mostly all scientists, talking about their thoughts on the existence of God. (Find it in two parts here and here.) Now’s he back with a new video, 30 Renowned Writers Speaking About God. It runs 25 minutes, and it offers as much a critique of orthodox religious belief as it does a literary tribute to humanism and rationalism. Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Salman Rushdie (who kindly tweeted us this weekend), Margaret Atwood, Philip Roth — they all make an appearance. The full list of writers appears below the jump.

And, before we close, let me say this. Whenever we post videos like these, we get the question. Why the occasional focus on atheism/rationalism/humanism? And the simple answer comes down to this: If you cover writers, academics and scientists, the thinking skews in that direction. Yes, there are exceptions, but they are in shorter supply. But if someone pulls them together and makes a montage, we’ll likely feature it too. H/T

Note: As you may have noticed, we have been experiencing intermittent outages over the past couple of days. Our host, Dreamhost, has been stumbling more than we’d like. So we’re figuring out alternatives and hopefully making a move soon. Our apologies for the inconvenience!

1. Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Science Fiction Writer
2. Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Laureate in Literature
3. Professor Isaac Asimov, Author and Biochemist
4. Arthur Miller, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright
5. Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate in Literature
6. Gore Vidal, Award-Winning Novelist and Political Activist
7. Douglas Adams, Best-Selling Science Fiction Writer
8. Professor Germaine Greer, Writer and Feminist
9. Iain Banks, Best-Selling Fiction Writer
10. José Saramago, Nobel Laureate in Literature
11. Sir Terry Pratchett, NYT Best-Selling Novelist
12. Ken Follett, NYT Best-Selling Author
13. Ian McEwan, Man Booker Prize-Winning Novelist
14. Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate (1999-2009)
15. Professor Martin Amis, Award-Winning Novelist
16. Michel Houellebecq, Goncourt Prize-Winning French Novelist
17. Philip Roth, Man Booker Prize-Winning Novelist
18. Margaret Atwood, Booker Prize-Winning Author and Poet
19. Sir Salman Rushdie, Booker Prize-Winning Novelist
20. Norman MacCaig, Renowned Scottish Poet
21. Phillip Pullman, Best-Selling British Author
22. Dr Matt Ridley, Award-Winning Science Writer
23. Harold Pinter, Nobel Laureate in Literature
24. Howard Brenton, Award-Winning English Playwright
25. Tariq Ali, Award-Winning Writer and Filmmaker
26. Theodore Dalrymple, English Writer and Psychiatrist
27. Roddy Doyle, Booker Prize-Winning Novelist
28. Redmond O’Hanlon FRSL, British Writer and Scholar
29. Diana Athill, Award-Winning Author and Literary Editor
30. Christopher Hitchens, Best-Selling Author, Award-Winning Columnist
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